Dulwich Society News

Austerity hits Dulwich

The number of License applications by Dulwich residents to the Scheme of Management to carry out changes to their property is down 50% on a year ago. The Planning and Architecture Group have commented on thirteen and eleven licenses applications respectively on their last two visits to the Scheme of Management Office in December 2011 and January 2012, a number substantially reduced from the twenty-two received in January 2011 and the twenty-five received in July of 2010.

Residents have clearly decided against spending money on improvements such as garden rooms, summer houses and sheds which have seen a decline in license requests and instead have opted for loft conversions with a rear dormer and rear rooflights.

The nature of these applications suggests that residents are making the decision to remain in their current home, but to increase the number of bedrooms.

If you are thinking of making changes to your property it would be wise to remember to check the Scheme of Management guidelines regarding the size and location of dormers and the location of rooflights. These can be found on the Dulwich Estate website www.dulwichestate.com The alteration of front gardens to provide off-street parking is also subject to Dulwich Estate guidelines. These require half of the front area to be soft landscaping to assist in reducing the amount of rainwater being discharged onto roads and pavements.

The Crown & Greyhound proposed alterations

The plan to transform the Crown & Greyhound into a boutique hotel has received a good deal of support. The Village traders have supported the proposed changes and the Dulwich Society Planning and Architecture Group considers the proposal to be a benefit to the community and to the Conservation Area and has welcomed some overdue improvements to the rear of the premises. It also acknowledges the lack of hotel provision in the vicinity. There was a public consultation open day at the pub in January which was attended by 40-50 people and followed a more general display of the plans over several months at the offices of the Dulwich Estate. David Roberts, the Chair of the Dulwich Society’s Planning and Architecture group commented on the need for additional toilet accommodation for the function room, restaurant and extensive bar areas. He also noted the current direct access to the function room has been lost in the revision and suggests that this requires the reconfiguration of circulation on the first floor. David further suggested that the loss of garden for the 19 dedicated hotel car spaces on the south side be balanced by the re-instatement of soft landscaping on the north side of the site.

At the time of going to press, no application for the works has yet been made. In view of this it is unlikely that a start will be made to the alterations, which will require the pub to close for an estimated fifteen months, until the latter part of the year.
Ian McInnes has written a detailed account of the fate of the two old inns which were demolished to make way for the present Crown & Greyhound on page 31.

News in Brief

The cleaning of the Mill Pond has been sent to tender by the Dulwich Estate and it has been confirmed that work will start next year. The cost, which will be born by residents under the Scheme of Management will be shared in September 2012. Other maintenance work by the Estate has been reduced to offset this extra cost.

The restoration of a number of damaged finger posts will commence shortly following representation by the Society to the Dulwich Community Council for a grant. A sum of £2500 was awarded for this contract.

The Society has contributed £500 towards improving the water quality of the rivulet which drains Dulwich Park lake. The work is expected to be completed this Spring.
The Society has also given £250 for the planting of the now rare Black Poplar tree in Long Meadow between Dulwich Wood Avenue and Gipsy Hill following Stella Benwell’s discovery of a free source for the saplings. It has further contributed £1184 towards the planting of the new hedge in Gallery Road.

Bids for CGS (Cleaner, Greener, Safer) funding have been made to the Dulwich Community Council and include a Dulwich heritage room in Roseberry Lodge Dulwich Park, new aquatic plants for the lake in Belair park and a grant for the restoration of the wall in front of St Peter’s Church, Dulwich Common. The final decision will be made at the Community Council meeting on 14th March.

‘Dulwich Gardens open for Charity 2012’

A copy of the 2012 edition of ‘Dulwich Gardens open for Charity’ is enclosed. Published by the Dulwich Society’s Garden Group, it gives details of over 40 garden openings during the coming months. We very much hope that you will visit some of them. Two forthcoming events have been arranged by the Gardens Group -

Thursday, April 19th - Talk by Gordon Lucas, Head Gardener, Horniman Gardens on ‘The redevelopment of the Horniman Museum Gardens

This is a subject that will interest all of us. Horniman Gardens are the finest public gardens in our area, but they are over 100 years old and in need of substantial refurbishment. Work has already started. Gordon Lucas will explain the many new developments which are designed to realise the educational potential of the gardens, as well as better serving the growing number of visitors.

7.45 for 8.00pm at the new Belair Recreation Centre, Gallery Road

The entrance to the new Recreation Centre is about 75 yards beyond the entrance to Belair Park as you go towards the South Circular Road. Admission free. Refreshments. Parking is available. Non members welcome.

Tuesday, June 19th Dulwich Society Garden Group visit to the Savill Garden including River trip, lunch and tea. Full details on page 7 of ‘Dulwich Gardens open for Charity 2012’ (enclosed with this issue) or ring Ina Pulleine on 8670 5477 (after 11.00 am)

Walks for The Dulwich Festival

Tree Walk - Saturday 12th May 2.30
This year the annual Tree Walk will again be led by Letta Jones, by now a good friend to us all, who brings her great knowledge, with its fascinating unusual details, even about trees we thought we knew well.   We will meet at the College Park Gate at 2.30pm, walk up along College Road with its very handsome great trees, and also go into the Picture Gallery Garden which has almost its own small arboretum of unusual  species from the Americas and the Far East..   We look forward to seeing you all again - last year there were over 60 tree lovers!  

Local History Walk – Sunday 13th May at 2.30pm
The Old Village of Dulwich will be the subject of an in-depth history walk led by Brian Green and visiting the Old Burial Ground, stocks site, Christ’s Chapel. Meet outside The Crown & Greyhound. The walk is suitable for those in wheelchairs.

Local History Walk – Sunday 20th May at 2.30pm
The theme of this walk led by Ian McInnes will be the social and architectural history of the area. See where John Ruskin had his nightmare experience described in his essay 'Fiction, Fair and Foul', and the site of the old 'Manor House', the WW2 prison camp, the long forgotten prefab estate and much more. The walk will start and finish at West Dulwich Station.? Meet: Outside West Dulwich Station. Suitable for those in wheelchairs.